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22nd March 2019

CH&CO introduces new café and stunning event space at Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, as the Painted Hall re-opens after two-year conservation project

CH&CO, in partnership with the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, has launched a new café at the popular venue and visitor attraction. The Painted Hall Café is part of a two-year conservation project, part funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, that has restored the Painted Hall and its Undercroft.

The stunning Painted Hall, which has been referred to as the ‘Sistine Chapel of the UK’ and re-opens to the public on 23 March, is part of CH&CO’s portfolio of unique event spaces at the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Painted Hall Café, located in the Undercroft beneath the Painted Hall, will enhance the visitor experience and provide a new café destination for the local community. Its launch is the result of a two-year National Lottery Funded conservation project which has brought the magnificent painted interior of the Painted Hall back to life and restored the Undercroft to house the new café, as well as a retail shop and interpretation gallery.

The ‘baroque meets modern’ design throughout the Undercroft showcases original pillar foundations and offers a glimpse of Tudor archaeology.  Excavations uncovered the remains of two service rooms from the old Friary buildings which formed part of Henry VIII’s Greenwich Palace. The lower room is a cellar and features unusual niches thought to be ‘bee boles’ where bee hives were kept during the winter months to protect hibernating bee colonies.

Open from 10am-4.30pm, daily, to both visitors to the Painted Hall and the general public, the fresh, seasonal menu offers a varied selection of breakfast items, lunches, hot and cold beverages and cakes. Appealing to different tastes, dietary requirements and lifestyle choices, the menu features a mix of light bites, family favourites and classics with a modern twist. For example, breakfast includes bircher pots, porridge and pastries; and lunch features seasonal salads, freshly-prepared sandwiches and toasties, and hot dishes with daily specials such as macaroni cheese with crushed peas and smoked ham hock. The delicious cake selection includes Victoria sponge to flourless chocolate cake and lemon and almond polenta cake. Freshly brewed Barista coffee and speciality teas are available all day, with white wine, prosecco and beers served after midday.

As catering and hospitality partner for the Old Royal Naval College, CH&CO is also excited to reintroduce the Painted Hall to its portfolio of unique event spaces available for private hire at the historic location. Available for evening hire, the Painted Hall offers a breath-taking venue for a variety of events, including corporate dinners and receptions gala dinners, launch parties and fashion shows, special occasions and celebrations, and weddings.

CH&CO’s expertise in event catering and management will ensure every event vision is transformed into an unforgettable experience that exceeds all expectations at every turn. Guests will enjoy bespoke and creative food – from canapés to banquets – surrounded by a wealth of history and stunning architecture, and under the hand-painted canopy of the Painted Hall; the masterwork of Sir James Thornhill.

As with the other event spaces at the site, Queen Mary Undercroft and The Admiral’s House, arrival to the venue can, fittingly, be made in style by boat or clipper along The Thames.

Andrew Bapniah, operations director for CH&CO said: “We’re very excited to be working with the Old Royal Naval College to launch the Painted Hall Café to its visitors and to the local Greenwich community. The Painted Hall Undercroft is a fantastic location for the café, and as part of the incredible conservation project the space has been restored and designed in way that celebrates its history and will make customers feel that they are enjoying a drink and a bite to eat somewhere very special.

“The work in the Painted Hall is phenomenal. The venue is exquisite, and the CH&CO Events team looks forward to creating memorable events for clients in this unique and stunning space.”

For more information about the Painted Hall and other event spaces at the Old Royal Naval College contact the Venue Hire team on 0208 269 2131 or